L.A. Now
Government severely misjudged strength of Oroville emergency spillway, sparking a crisis

Rams digging into offensive coordinators in search for new head coach

The roster includes a quarterback chosen with the No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft and a running back who was the 2015 NFL offensive rookie of the year.

And yet the Rams ranked last in the NFL in offense for two consecutive seasons.

So it’s no wonder this weekend the Rams are zeroing in on interviewing potential head coaches with noteworthy success as NFL offensive coordinators.

The Rams are not alone.

New England’s Josh McDaniels is scheduled to interview with the Rams, San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars. Atlanta’s Kyle Shanahan is scheduled to interview with the same teams along with the Denver Broncos.

The Rams also will interview Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

Whoever the Rams ultimately hire, they must find a coach who can maximize the talent of quarterback Jared Goff and running back Todd Gurley.

Goff started the final seven games this season and completed only 54.6% of his passes, five for touchdowns, with seven interceptions. He was sacked 26 times.

Gurley, who rushed for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie, gained only 885 yards and scored six touchdowns in 16 games in 2016.

McDaniels and Shanahan both have demonstrated the ability to elevate quarterbacks and effectively deploy running backs.

McDaniels, 40, has worked with future Hall of Famer Tom Brady for seven seasons, including the last five in McDaniels’ second stint with the Patriots. During Brady’s four-game suspension at the start of the season, he helped Jimmy Garoppolo flourish and also won a game with rookie Jacoby Brissett.

Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount rushed for 1,161 yards and 18 touchdowns.

The Patriots ranked fourth in offense, averaging 386.2 yards per game. They were fourth in passing (269.2) and seventh in rushing (117.0). They averaged 27.6 points, which ranked third.

“He's been spectacular in every way for me,” Brady said of McDaniels this week during a Boston radio interview. “I could never be the player I am without him and he challenges me every week…. It would be tough to lose him.”

Shanahan, 37, helped quarterback Matt Ryan become a favorite to win the league’s most-valuable-player award.

The Falcons ranked second in offense, averaging 415.8 yards a game. They were third in passing (295.3) and fifth in rushing (120.5), while scoring a league-best 33.8 points per game.

Running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 1,079 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also caught 54 passes, two for touchdowns.

Shanahan told reporters this week that he was ready to become a head coach.

“I think I have been,” he said. “I think a lot of guys are. It's about getting that opportunity and hope it's the right fit.”

Jake Matthews, the Falcons’ left tackle, said Shanahan would be a successful head coach.

“He’s a great leader,” Matthews told the Associated Press. “The way he calls plays and runs this offense, he's one of the bigger parts of it. Obviously Matt and players are the ones executing it, but he's the brainchild of it all.”

Williams leaving?

Gregg Williams, the Rams’ defensive coordinator for three seasons, reportedly has been offered a job to become defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. Before the season finale against Arizona, Williams told reporters he would be open to staying with the Rams. “We’ll see,” he said. “It’ll be an interesting off-season, but I’ve been through a bunch of those kinds before.”

 

gary.klein@latimes.com

Follow Gary Klein on Twitter @latimesklein

 

Copyright © 2017, Los Angeles Times
55°